Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did themselves no favors last week by agreeing to an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News. Giving untruthful and incomplete answers, the couple managed to make their family seem even more icky than it already did, and by parading their adult daughters before the camera to talk about “forgiveness,” they merely highlighted the creepy and disturbing ways they have raised their enormous brood. So none of us should be surprised that the family was investigated yet again on May 27th, and that the Duggar parents were uncooperative with the Arkansas Department of Human Services this time, too.
The Duggars made no mention [in their Fox News interview] of the fact that they have been under investigation again, but In Touch discovered what they are hiding via another Freedom of Information Act request that produced the 911 call.
After identifying himself as a Washington Country DHS employee and stating the Duggar family address, the caller tells the 911 operator, “We have an investigation and I guess they’re not being cooperative. We have to see the child to make sure the child is all right. So we just need police assistance.”
DHS records are not available to the public so it is unknown what prompted the investigation. Experts tell In Touch that an investigation can be triggered by a hotline complaint, even an anonymous one, if the trained operator determines the allegation is serious enough that it meets standards for child abuse maltreatment laws.
Repeating what I said yesterday, the Duggars are currently conducting the worst public relations campaign in America by accepting advice only from within their Christian Dominionist culture war bubble. While this latest complaint may have no merit — the Duggars are celebrities, for better or worse, accepting the bad side of fame with the good — it is undoubtedly reinforcing the negative public perceptions that already exist. At this rate, TLC will have no choice but to nix any spin-off series, and there is no chance of the show 19 Kids and Counting ever being renewed. If Michelle and Jim Bob are to get ahead of this story and salvage some portion of their ‘reality show’ careers, they will need to find a PR adviser who is more savvy about the outside world.
But I doubt they are willing to listen to any advice that doesn’t come couched in a bible reference. During their interview with Kelly, the Duggars seemed mainly concerned with upholding the integrity of their daughters’ sexual purity. Expressing outrage that Springdale, Arkansas police complied with state transparency laws rather than help them conceal their son’s past behavior, Michelle and Jim Bob have made it abundantly clear that their megafamily’s wholesome image is more important to them than truth, laws, or the actual well-being of their children. At this rate, their family name is going to become a watchword for hypocrisy.
During the disastrous Fox interview, Jim Bob basically admitted that sexual abuse is rampant in Quiverfull families, so it’s not unreasonable to wonder who got molested this time and which sibling(s) did the deed.
The Duggar’s are hardly the only people who think their particular brand of christianity entitles them to a pass on matters that would send others to jail.